Advocates urge Parma officials to lift pit bull ban

Advocates urge Parma officials to lift pit bull ban
Group fights to ban Parma Pit Bull ban (Source: Jennifer Scott)

PARMA, OH (WOIO) - More than two dozen people showed up at Parma’s City Council meeting on Monday night. They were protesting the current ban on owning pit bulls in the city.

The group expressed their concerns about stigma and language associated with breed definitions within Parma’s current ordinance. The laws are more than 30 years old.

Parma Pit Bulls

In recent years, Ohio cities have redefined laws that state all pit bulls are considered aggressive animals. Many cities still require specific regulations, such as special licensing, or leash laws when owning pit bulls.

In March, the same group fighting the Parma laws successfully overturned a similar ordinance in Lakewood. Cleveland 19 reported on the efforts that all began with a dog named “Charlie.”

In Parma, pit bulls are among 30 other banned animals including monkeys, wolves and tigers. According to the ordinance, residents are prohibited from owning, harboring or keeping a pit bull within city limits.

You can view the whole ordinance by clicking here.

The Parma ordinance goes on to state penalties for those who choose to have pit bulls in the city by stating, " whoever violates or fails to comply with any of the other provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues." For a third-degree misdemeanor charge, a resident could spend up to 30 days behind bars and fines of up to $250 dollars.

Right now, there are about 21 cities in Ohio that have outright pit bull bans. A handful of them are in the Cincinnati area.

Other than Parma, cities with bans in Northeast Ohio include Warrensville Heights and Garfield Heights.

Some cities have recently adopted laws that require Pit Bull owners to follow rules such as separate registration, fees, and being held accountable if the dog attempts to bite or cause physical harm to another person or animal.

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